Trade: ($40 billion Silk Route Fund to integrate three continents: PBIF)

ISLAMABAD: President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), All Karachi Industrial Alliance and First Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel (BMP) of FPCCI, Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said $40 billion Silk Road infrastructure fund by China will bring over fifty countries in Asia, Europe and Africa closer by boosting connectivity.

The amount allocated to resurrect the old Silk Road trading route and sea-related projects will be increased by the passage of time as initial allocation is insufficient, he said, adding that the project is focused on Asia with Pakistan and Central Asian states getting more benefits than others, said the former Provincial Minister.

He said the Silk Road has existed for thousands of years, it enriched the countries it passed through, transporting material goods, cultures, knowledge, religions, arts, and languages into societies across Asia, Europe, and Africa, and uniting them all with a common thread of cultural heritage.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that China has produced over 25 percent of the global GDP since centuries but the industrial revolution in West slowed it down. Now, China is regaining its lost glory which is not acceptable to US. He said the US, India and Japan have joined hands to counter Chinese influence, especially in Asia which will come with billions of infrastructure influence.

He said India is eying oil and gas and minerals in Afghanistan and Central Asia since long therefore it cannot see increasing Chinese influence in that region. Moreover, international lenders uneasy with the establishment of Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank have decided to increase loans significantly to counter China however they have a serious image issue in the developing world, he said, adding that the developing countries will benefit between power struggles among influential nations.